My Literary Weekend

Here is what I got up to this past weekend, and it was very satisfying:

Dan Raphael reads his work.

Dan Raphael reads his work.

I went to Ink Noise Review at the Jade Lounge, hosted by Curtis Whitecaroll, featuring Dan Raphael, and D. R. Garrett. The evening also included poetry and flash/microfiction by James Grabill, Jared Hayes, Dawn Z. Montefusco, Sarah Wimmer, Billy Dye, and Alexis Plank. A quality lineup of creative writers, and also a really chill Portland bar experience. The next Ink Noise get together will be on June 16th, from what I recall.

Dan Savage widescreen

Dan Savage with an exhibit of Chris Haberman portraits on the wall in back of him– at Powell’s City of Books.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I got to squeeze in to see Dan Savage talk and read at Powell’s City of Books in the Pearl Room. He was promoting his new book, American Savage, which features his sassy evaluation on a number of current hot sociopolitical topics. He has been investigating politics a lot, and talked on the health care crisis, and how many of the “conservative hot topics” of the day, such as reproductive rights, women’s issues, and marriage equality, are in fact intertwined when viewed in the larger context of the Religious Right. He was a very funny, warm, down to earth person, and was able to allay the concerns of even the most cynical audience member. I was pleasantly impressed. He also answered the question about where he sees trends going in the next several decades, to which his answer was: Trans and gender issues. Because, “movements progress over time, as they should, and that is becoming the next progression.” (Sorry for what I am sure is horrible paraphrasing.)

Also at Powell’s, I discovered they have a gender issues section! So if you are inspired to get a jump ahead, at Dan’s recommendation, here is a self-help guide for you to pick up:

MyGenderWorkbook

I should hope all my weekends in P-Town are this illuminating… 🙂

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Things You Need To Go See

There are some literary events coming up in the Portland area, and you need to go check them out. With any luck, I will also be there checking them out. Come say hello if you see me…

Caffeinated Art #170 on Monday, May 20th- details here.

Ink Noise Review- now on its second installment, so we know the baby had a healthy delivery and will be doing fine! This episode featuring Dan Raphael, Curtis Whitecarroll, and other awesome guests. Saturday, June 1st. Details here

Got a literary event to throw out there? Get a hold of me and I’ll post it, as long as you’re willing to return the favor… 

Compliment of the Year

Walt Curtis and I @ Mark Wooley art opening, Pioneer Place, Portland OR

Walt Curtis and I @ Mark Wooley art opening, Pioneer Place, Portland OR, 2013

I dropped by 3 Friends Coffee today to check out the poetry open MIC. Dan Raphael was featured and I didn’t want to miss that. We’ve read out a few times together, he immediately inspired me when I heard his kaledioscopic sensory metaphors hanging in the air like strange and beautiful crystals on a big astral chandeleir. I was not disappointed. What I heard was a mirror of what has been resonating (or perhaps simmering) beneath my mind for a long time: the sound of the fragments of world tearing apart- and possibly being recombined into whole new modes of being.

Then later on that night! Walt Curtis– AKA Oregon’s Poet Laureate- got up, some time after all the rest of us read, and read a poem while in a full on nosebleed. He had on a straw hat over his polar fleece cap. It was, as Ed might have oft mentioned, in the shape of a “perchy hat.” You’ll have to ask him what that means. He had a hard time getting through the whole poem, he remarked, because of feeling like he is almost going blind. It did take him quite a while, but it was also an epic, whimsical and allegorical poem about his black umbrella. Walt later came up to me and remembered me and wanted to introduce me around. He was saying I had been “an important part of the poetry scene.” He encouraged me to come back another Monday.

People came up and told me how much they liked my piece (I always love that… with visual art people can say, “um that’s nice” and move on… perhaps just to get away from you… With poetry, one has to make the effort to come up and compliment the author. That takes balls.)

I think that makes for a really whizbang evening, don’t you? 😉

Oh BTW: The open MIC people, Show and Tell Gallery, announced they publish podcasts of the weekly readings and archive them on their site. So you can hear me reading live in perhaps a couple of weeks. Look for the show on 12/17/12.